Villafranca Tirrena

Villafranca Tirrena is in the province of Messina on the island of Sicily, Italy. It is only 22 km across the Straits of Messina to the region of Calabria. The municipality of Villafranca Tirrena contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Serro, Divieto, Castelluccio, Castello, and Calvaruso. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 8,921 and an area of 14.3 km². The main economical resources of the city are: commerce, small industries, agriculture, that includes the cultivation of lemons, oranges, mandarin oranges, olives and wine production, tourism.


Get in

Villafranca Tirrena is located about 12 km northwest of Messina and about 180 km east of Palermo. It borders the following municipalities: Messina, Saponara, Rometta, Saponara, Venetico, Spadafora. It can be reached via highways (autostrade) from Messina from the south and Palermo from the north.

By train

Villafranca is Sicily's link to the main Italian train network. Long distance trains from Rome and Naples cross the Straits of Messina by ferry and continue on to Palermo and Catania. Regular regional trains also run to Villafranca, Milazzo, Cefalu, Taormina and Syracuse.

By bus

Long-distance buses stop in Messina, linking Rome and Naples to Catania and Palermo. Regular local buses also run to Villafranca, Milazzo (for the Aeolian Islands) and Taormina.


Natives of Sicily speak Sicilian, an ancient Romance language that is a separate language from Italian.

Most Sicilians are proficient in Italian, and modern schools teach English to students. Be advised that when traveling to small villages, some of the older residents may not speak Italian (they will usually understand though).

Even though Italian is the national language, Sicilian is still very alive in Sicily. They may say "Comu ti senti?" ("How are you feeling?") The normal question is "Come stai?" ("How are you?")


The museum is located in Via Rovere 1, Villafranca Tirrena.



Making the most of its island coasts, Sicily has one of the world's best cuisines to offer. Much of the island's food is made with creatures of the sea. Unlike in the northern parts of Italy, cream and butter are hardly used for typical dishes in Sicily. Instead, the natives usually substitute tomatoes, lard (rarely) or olive oil. The cuisine is very exotic and has many spices and unique flavors to offer. Sicilians cultivate a uniquely Sicilian type of olive tree, which they affectionately call the "saracena". The food is typically Mediterranean but there are strong hints of Arabic and Spanish flavor (Sicily was conquered by many peoples during its long history). Sicilians like spices and have particular affinity for almond, jasmine, rosemary, mint and basil.



Sicilians are not big alcohol drinkers (Sicily has the lowest rate of alcoholism in all of Italy) despite the fact that the island is home to more vineyards than any other Italian region and has one of Italy's most progressive wine industries. Noted mainly in the past for strong bulk wines and often sweet Moscato and Marsala, the island has switched its emphasis toward lighter, fruitier white and red wines.

Sicily is divided into three main producing wine districts:


Go next

The Aeolian Islands
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